By: Kevin Gardner
Businesses the world over are undergoing a technological revolution. There are a number of relatively new technologies that are only now really taking root in the world of commerce, and these new developments are proving to be more effective and more efficient than traditional tech. Below is an introduction to recent hardware and software developments that are changing the face of business.
Interconnectivity via the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is more a school of thought than any singular technological development. IoT refers to the use of internet connectivity to improve the functionality and versatility of otherwise unconnected devices, such as appliances and vehicles. For example, you may be familiar with cars with built in computers and/or GPS. The advantage in this case is that an internet connected car has built in access to GPS navigation which can help the driver navigate but can also be used by emergency services to locate a driver in need of assistance.
As it pertains to business, IoT solutions for manufacturing have increased efficiency and accuracy of automated manufacturing processes tremendously, and they have also opened the entire process up to remote control, allowing it to be scaled or course corrected, for example, with minimal contact to potentially dangerous machinery. An additional benefit of this kind of technology is its diagnostic capabilities, as errors that have traditionally required disassembly in order to diagnose can now be understood, and possibly solved, remotely. By the same logic, IoT tech not only improves manufacturing, but also distribution and retail. In effect, this means that the entire supply chain for a business stands to benefit from this technology, improving the overall efficiency tremendously.
Data Collection and Analysis
Data collection and data analysis are ancient arts at this point, but recent developments in technology have rendered data a powerful tool for businesses. The amount of raw data collected by modern methods and tech can be mind boggling, and they present potent predictive capabilities in the right hands. Data offers myriad benefits to businesses that utilize competent data collection agencies and data analysts. One of the more noteworthy successes in this department is that of targeted ads. Targeted advertisement is a partnership between data and algorithms in order to show internet users the ad is deemed best for them based on their online behavior.
This method of behavioral prediction is somewhat unique, but it employs the very same principles as many other data related business strategies. Data influences marketing in general by gauging public opinion of a company’s products, services, and advertising in order to retool the brand for the current market, and it is also used to make predictions about the development of the business landscape at large.
Cloud technology perhaps the most well known of these technologies, but it remains difficult for the layperson to understand. This is largely because, while the average person knows how to operate a computer, they don’t often understand the underlying processes of computation. Cloud computing is the process of sharing computational power and file storage between multiple devices over a virtual network. In practice, this means that one computer can assist another in the same network with complex calculations and other intensive processes in order to complete operations much more quickly. Cloud storage similarly provides a shared file storage space for members of the same network.
The overall ethos of cloud technology is making networks more powerful by making them more versatile. By enabling a network of devices to cooperate with each other remotely, cloud technology has dramatically increased the workflow of businesses that utilize it, and it is quickly becoming the new standard as a result.
The technological side of business may prove to be an intimidating barrier to entry for some. However, embracing this new technology and trying to understand it is the key to improving the efficacy of your company. With this primer in hand, you can understand the basics of these technologies and can see how they can be used to increase the overall potency of your business venture. Now you just need to upgrade.